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Date night: A cute couples’ photoshoot idea

I recently had a couples photoshoot, we wanted something a little out of the box. Jess was a RockaBilly model and has shot some cool 1950s vibes with me before, but this time her partner Daniel was joining her in the studio.

Creating a theme

I went on Pinterest and such for inspiration for 3D movies, and date night to get together a mood board. I decided I really wanted a James Dean bad boy vibe for this shoot. Jess had the cute Rockabilly dress and jacket, and it was super easy to borrow a James Dean-styled leather biker jacket and then pop Daniel in a plain white T-shirt and blue jeans.

I then went on the hunt for popcorn boxes, old-school Coke bottles and milkshake glasses. Some things are easier to find than others. My hair and makeup artist, Em, made the oversized 3D glasses. It was all kept fairly simple, but we had loads of fun creating this series.

We went for three different scenes: The movies, the milkshake and the walk home.

The right hair and makeup

Em Mrietta was our hair and makeup artist, who did some fabulous winged lashes and makeup, plus the ponytail with the poodle-do fringe. Daniel was pretty easy. While I would have loved to do some slicked-back hair, you have to work with what you’ve got!

Re-creating the ‘at the movies’ vibe

We had two chairs positioned in front of a black backdrop and shot behind and re-created the 3D movie vibe. Then we turned the chairs around and positioned a Godox strobe with a magnum dish and barn doors in the background to create the projector vibe.

I used two other lights camera left and right with blue and green gels to add the ‘at the movie’ vibes. Add some popcorn (lots of popcorn) and we were good to go. We then went for the ‘at the movies’ cliché yawn, stretch and arm around the shoulder and Jess hammed it up with different facial expressions (we ended up removing the 3D glasses for some of the images, to better see the facial expressions).

Daniel not used to being in front of the camera played the perfect tough guy. Em created the perfect hair and makeup look for Jess, we had loads of fun creating the popcorn scenes, including throwing bags of popcorn at them too. We shot the whole thing tethered to Capture One, so everyone could see the images as we captured them.

Gear used

I shot with my Sony a7R III and the Tamron 28-75mm lens, which I kept at around a 40mm focal length. I also used a tripod, so I could set up the shot and leave it.

The photos were taken at ISO 160, and because there were two people in the photos, I went with an aperture of f/5.6.

My lights were two Godox AD400, bare bulbs (or the magnum reflector & barn doors) and a Godox AD200Pro with the Fresnel head. I used blue and green gels, which came with my Godox lights. Using a bare bulb makes the light a little challenging and harsh, so I usually use a softbox to diffuse the harsh light.

Creating the 3D look

3D Movie look

Re-creating that 3D movie look is actually pretty easy to achieve, once you have placed your text (if you even want text) to your image in Photoshop. I created the movie theater, seats and screen and placed it in front of my seated couple.

I also added some glow to the front of them from the screen lights. Then I created a new stamped merge layer — Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E (or Command + Option + Shift + E on a Mac). I put a little video together for you below.

Just remember, not everything has to be completely serious. Sometimes, creating fun memories is just as important as creating nice photos.

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Rafael Jones

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